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Clara Dao grew up despising her flat chest after being skinny shamed by trolls.

The 24-year-old, who weighs just 41 kgs, revealed cruel bullies claimed she had an eating disorder and told her to “eat a burger”.

She was even asked by one: “How would you breastfeed a baby in future?”

The jibes left her contemplating having a boob job and, desperate to put on weight to change her body, she started buying weight-gaining supplements off Instagram – with no idea what ingredients were in them.

Now, however, Clara has learnt to love her body and proudly flaunts her “no-cup” in bikinis, in a bid to help others embrace their bodies too.

“People are a lot more aware of fat-shaming and know bigger people already suffer a lot but this isn’t applied to smaller people,” she told The Sun.

“There is a generalisation that skinny people don’t have body image issues and are happy to be skinny or they think it’s a compliment.

“We shouldn’t comment on anyone’s body. Skinny-shaming is so prevalent, people don’t think it’s wrong.”

Now Clara, who lives in Toronto, Canada, but is originally from Hanoi, Vietnam, has dedicated her TikTok page to promoting body confidence and self-love – and regularly posts snaps of her in bikinis.

The content creator says: “I never touch a bra anymore and I love showing off my body in bodycon dresses.

”I finally love myself and I’m so happy to help other men and women overcome their body confidence issues.”

Growing up, she says relatives unknowingly made her feel insecure about her looks as she was growing up, calling her “skinny” or a “twig”.

Clara says: “I kept waiting for my breasts to come, but they never came.

“I was so different for a long time, I thought there was something wrong with me.

“All the boys knew me as the flat-chested girl and I couldn’t win – they would tease me for wearing padded push-up bras but if I didn’t wear a bra, they would tease me for being flat.

“I felt like I was ugly and I was lacking something.”

I was desperate – now I’m proud

As a teen, she would wear baggy clothes to hide her small frame and would never wear a bikini – instead, she would hide under a towel at the beach.

Clara, whose BMI is classed as ‘underweight’, says no matter how much she eats she never puts on weight.

As well as buying supplements online in a bid to bulk up, she also followed social media accounts proclaiming to be able to teach girls to manifest their dream bodies.

“I was going through a very dark time, I was heavily into social media and I was obsessed with having a curvy figure with a tiny waist,” Clara said.

“I looked at pictures of these bodies all the time and I was into ‘body manifestation’.

“I would watch videos titled ‘how to manifest the perfect chest’ and listen to subliminal audio clips that were meant to help you get a bigger chest.

“I realise now that was never going to work – but at the time I was desperate and would have tried anything.”

Turning point

Clara even had a picture of a woman with her ‘dream body’ – big boobs, a big bum and a tiny waist like Kylie Jenner – stuck on her mirror that she looked at every day.

Aged 18, she decided she wanted breast augmentation surgery after a friend had a boob job – and went from an A-cup to a D-cup.

She researched the procedure online, watching countless videos on YouTube about it, but eventually decided that the risks outweighed the benefits.

This was the turning point for Clara, and she knew if she wasn’t going to surgically alter her body, she would have to learn to accept it.

In February 2019, Clara started uploading videos on YouTube to document her journey to self-acceptance.

In one video, she poses in a white lace bralet as she defiantly says to the camera: “You see, my lack of curves doesn’t make me any less of a woman.

“So tell me I need to do squats, that I look like a boy – I’m secure with my body.”

After enduring years of cruel taunts and bullying, she says her new-found body positivity didn’t happen overnight – but she is now more confident than ever.

“Now I feel amazing about how I look, I’m at a point I not only accept how I look but I love how I look,” she said.

“I practise what I preach and as soon as I started producing body positivity content, I could feel my confidence grow.

“I look at myself with love and gratitude instead of criticism, hate and disgust.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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